July 11th: McVitie's Hobnobs Medley Milk Chocolate & Raisin

Kcal 131 Fat 4.1g Fat(sats) 1.6g Carbs 21.5g (per bar)

Back in May when I read this press announcement from United Biscuits, I was pleased to hear that they were going to be launching a new range of on-the-go chocolate snacking bars' utilising my all time favourite biscuit, the Hobnob. Although the article also revealed the name 'Medley', further details were pretty sketchy, and it wasn't until more recently when I was able to track them down that I learnt more. On the wrapper these bars came described as 'biscuit and cereal bars with raisins and milk chocolate'. This didn't sound like the groundbreaking product I was really hoping for, but they showed promise nonetheless, so I duly obliged and forked out £1.49 for a multipack in my local Co-Op.

My multipack contained six individually wrapped bars that each weighed in at 30.0g. In terms of size they weren't the largest looking bars ever, but they did nicely as an afternoon snack and they were easy to transport and eat on-the-go at work as they intended to be. When it came to the wrappers and packaging I have to say that there was nothing about it that stood out as being different from any other cereal bar. In fact, if you compare them to the Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal bars they look no different at all, aesthetically this isn't a bad thing by any means, but in the name of differentiation it has to be regarded as poor. Luckily the bars themselves looked pretty appetising with chunks of biscuit and plump looking raisins clearly visible amongst the oats.

Each of the bars came in foil based wrappers so they were all maintained in good condition and radiated reasonably nice aromas of biscuit and honey. As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, Hobnobs are up there as amongst my all time favourite biscuits so I was hoping that this bar delivered the usual Hobnob experience, but with an added chocolate and fruit twist. Biting in to the bar I was pleased to find that the texture was somewhat denser and chewier compared to an average cereal bar, with the golden syrup binding and raisins providing a greater than average resistance to normal. As I chewed the different cereal constituents came to the party intermittently - the oats were obviously the strongest tasting due to their greater portioning, but there were also sporadic hints of toasted cornflakes and rice that came through. Although the cereals dominated the majority of the initial flavour delivery, later on in the taste the chocolate, and Hobnob biscuit elements also added further interest. The milk chocolate didn't offer anything other than an average quality, sweet milky cocoa flavour burst, but it was at least there which was the main thing. During the latter stages of chewing, the Hobnob flavours were also detectable with suggestions of butter, brown sugar and a further compounding of the oats influencing the taste. In it's entirety the bar was about about right as a suitable sized snack, at a push I could probably have eaten another though.

Overall after eating these Medley bars I was disappointed, but content with what McVitie's had to offer. My disappointment with these was chiefly born out of what was I was initially hoping for. Prior to seeing the actual product I was hoping for a chocolate bar that had an added Hobnob influence - that it was I ascertained from the press release anyway! Of course what we got in reality was the product I have described above - a cereal based bar with a chocolate and Hobnob influence. That may sound like I'm saying that from a negative view point, and I guess in one way I am, and in another I'm not. In the vast spectrum of the cereal bars market this is a pretty decent offering, and one that I would recommend to Hobnob fans who wish to enjoy their favourite biscuits whilst out of home. On the other hand though, I can't help but think how great it would be to try a proper normal chocolate bar flavoured with Hobnob biscuit. I think Mars and McVitie's need to get their heads together and make it happen.

7.3 out of 10